It's a common story: Individual with a good idea starts a Tumblr; blog blows up; individual moves to another platform for a more professional, grown-up look. The reverse? Not so common, unless it's as supplemental social media marketing.
But that's exactly what Costello Tagliapietra has done for its website relaunch, making it one of the only established fashion brands that operates its main site on Tumblr's platform. The website has the clean landing page design favored by many labels, with an array of story cards, which are both rebloggable and shoppable thanks to e-commerce partner BlkDot. It's interactive, casual and, dare we say it, fun.
So why exactly did Costello Tagliapietra make the move? According to co-designer Robert Tagliapietra, the main reason was to cut out the "middle man" so to speak -- in this case, that would be a web developer — so that the team could communicate directly with its fanbase. They did have a Tumblr beforehand, but, as Tagliapietra says, it was "underdeveloped."
The new site gives the brand a more accessible, personal feel. While a "proper website" feels like it's set in stone and is hard to update on a whim, Tagliapietra says the team will now be able to post behind-the-scenes photos and videos as they happen.
Another obvious advantage of operating on Tumblr is the new (and free) marketing potential. Because each post is e-commerce enabled by BlkDot, they remain shoppable no matter how many times they're reblogged. Costello Tagliapietra fans can effectively act as brand ambassadors and salespeople, putting the "buy" button right under their followers' noses. If the images are good enough, their potential reach is pretty incredible.
To that end, the website's relaunch also coincides with the label's first ad campaign, featuring a number of individuals in industries ranging from museums to dermatology to music. While some of the names are fairly buzzy — Linda Rodin, Mia Moretti — they're not classic ad campaign stars. Tagliapietra acknowledges that if they'd just wanted to get reblogged all over the place, they could have picked personalities known for their virality; instead, the faces are just friends of the house. But they're on-brand and the images are beautiful, and that counts for something on Tumblr.
The campaign images are shoppable, too. Marketing and e-commerce wrapped up into one.
So does this mean we'll see more fashion brands making the same move? BLK DNM and, most notably, CR Fashion Book currently use Tumblr as their website platforms. And Valentine Uhovski, Tumblr's fashion evangelist (real title), tells us he's working with a "few more like-minded fashion brands for upcoming big debuts."
We'll be keeping our eyes peeled.